ICM? I think it's fair to say that they've acquired a rather mixed reputation on the basis of their aircraft releases; while accurate (their Spitfires are widely regarded as the most accurate available), they are let down at times by poor quality control.
So how well do these figures bear scrutiny? Well, I'm happy to say they're really rather good. The parts are pretty cleanly moulded in ICM's familiar white plastic with just a hint of flash here and there. Despite the thickness of the torsos, there's not a sink-mark or other moulding flaw in sight. The set consists of 20 parts for 5 figures:
2 x Pilots in flying gear - one standing in a seat-parachute and one sitting, ready to be placed in a kit cockpit. Both are dressed in what looks like an AN-S-31 summer flight suit, with the sleeves rolled up.
2 x Ground crew - again one standing and one squatting with a spanner.
1 x Officer standing in a A-2 leather jacket.
The details of the uniforms and equipment match up pretty well against references such as Osprey's Elite Series #46 - USAAF: 1. The flight suits lack shin pockets, but these will be very simple to add.
The standing pilot is a one-piece moulding - very neat but, perhaps, it could have been improved by separate arms. The standing ground crewman has a separate head. All the other figures are multi-part affairs, with separate limbs and heads which, of course, allows greater scope for altering poses and simplifies painting. The sculpting and proportions of all the figures look excellent and the faces have a fair amount of character for this scale.
Instructions & packaging
The instructions are pretty basic, consisting of a schematic of the sprues and a drawing of the assembled figures which doubles up as a painting diagram. The colours quoted are ModelMaster enamels - sold under licence by Italeri, who also distribute this kit.
Packaging is novel - the parts are contained in a plastic bag, wrapped in what can best be described as a cardboard sleeve - quite neat, although there may be a danger of crushing in the post. At least, in these days of environmental concerns, few people can complain about over-packaging here.
All in all, this is a very neat set which should find a myriad of uses in dioramas. The figures should look excellent with careful painting. At just 9 Euros it's fair value for money - recommended.
Considering how many US WW2 aircraft are available in 1/48 scale, it's disappointing how few of the major manufacturers see fit to release pilots and ground crew to go with them. ICM have come to the rescue with a very neat set of USAAF figures.
About Rowan Baylis (Merlin) FROM: NO REGIONAL SELECTED, UNITED KINGDOM
I've been modelling for about 40 years, on and off. While I'm happy to build anything, my interests lie primarily in 1/48 scale aircraft. I mostly concentrate on WW2 subjects, although I'm also interested in WW1, Golden Age aviation and the early Jet Age - and have even been known to build the occas...